The major support Hamas
and armed opposition groups enjoyed in Gaza and the West Bank has severely dropped in the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense
a new survey conducted by Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC)
- an east Jerusalem, Palestinian think tank - revealed. It is worth noting that the institute is held in high regard and its surveys are considered reliable.
The survey, which was conducted in the West Bank and Gaza during March, revealed the 38% of respondents believe that rocket fire from Gaza onto Israeli territory serves the Palestinian's best interests in comparison to 74% in the previous poll
conducted directly following Operation Pillar of Defense.
In addition, the poll revealed a drop in support of violent opposition to Israel
from 51% in December to 31% in March thus returning to pre-Pillar of Defense levels (29%).
However, an increase was registered in support of a non-violent Palestinian popular uprising, from 22% in December to 30% in March.
Pillar of Defense destorys support for Hamas (Photo: AP)
An additionally interesting decrease was registered in post-Pillar of Defense support of Hamas.
42% of respondents expressed support for Fatah
and President Abbas,
as opposed to 20% who expressed support for Hamas.
28% of those surveyed believe that Hamas is to blame for the failure in internal Palestinian reconciliation talks
between the Gaza ruler and Fatah, in comparison to 20% who said that Fatah is at fault.
The survey also revealed that 90%, an overwhelming majority of the Palestinians, believe that Hamas and Fatah should pursue national reconciliation even if this leads to US or Israeli sanctions.
Abbas, Mashaal in 2011 Cairo unity talks (Photo: Reuters)
A clear majority of 87% of the respondents embraced the idea of reforming the Fatah with the intention of including all Palestinian political parties.
Meanwhile, a majority of 59% says both Fatah and Hamas are acting in their own interests instead of the national interest by not working towards achieving a reconciliation.
Only 2% said Obama visit beneficial to Palestinians (Photo: MCT)
In regards to the Oslo accords, signed 20 years ago, the poll showed that the Palestinian public opinion is neatly divided over the agreements: 44% of respondents said it would have been better for Palestinian national interests if the accords were never signed while 44% said the opposite.
Moreover, the poll showed the percentage of those who said they supported the accords dropped from 68% in December 1997 to 43.4% in the current March 2013 poll.
As for the visit
of US President Barack Obama,
59% of those polled said the visit was more beneficial to Israel than to the Palestinians and only 2% said they believed the visit was more beneficial to the Palestinians.
In regards to renewed US interest in reviving peace negotiations, 27% of the respondents viewed direct negotiations with Israel under the auspices of the US as the most helpful approach to achieve an independent Palestinian State, whereas 49% favored an international peace conference.
A majority of 48% of respondents blamed Israel for the Palestinian Authority's current financial crisis as opposed to 14% who held the PA responsible.
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